Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Potty training or Parent training? PLEASE HELP!

18 months and on the potty

Potty training?
 Easy breezy.
Start early... like 18 months.
 Put them on one out of three strategically placed potties every hour and read countless potty books and watch potty training movies on youtube. My personal favorite is Elmo's Potty song ( here ) where for one moment I couldn't tell if Elmo's dad got confused and started singing a strip teese song- but that is besides the point...
This is serious stuff.

Then, make a "mickey mouse" potty treat/prize jar that he gets to decorate himself. Pink starbursts seem to be the biggest motivator around here.

Then, once he gets the potty thing and the big boy undewear down switch to a sticker chart like this one {here.} He can then earn individually wrapped dollar stor prizes for filling up a row...or save them  for the poops on the potty...that seems to be a toughest thing to master over here.

But WAIT...what if after ALL YOUR efforts your kid is still indifferent about going on the potty on his own?
He knows how to stay dry in his underwear all day but finds it easier to just pee (and poop...good story about this coming up) wherever whenever.  He also could stay in a wet poopy diaper for days without complaints if you let him.

 So HELP!!!

My behavioral and psych 101 techniques don't seem to be working! I thought that by gradually starting early and using positive reinforcement that potty training would be a breeze. I envisioned him sprinting to the toilet at the first sign he had to go- and we would high five each other and dance around because we were so proud and excited! That's not happening.

Now I REALLY WANT HIM TO do it more than he does.

All you mommies out there...what is your advice?
Little man is two and a half...should I back off and let him do his thing or continue with the potty training...or parent training more like?

Please help...tips, advice- anything- what have you done? What should I do??



  1. To be totally honest I had ZERO desire to change countless wet pants and run to the bathroom every 10 mins in order to get my son PT'd so..... I let him tell me when he was ready! He was 2yrs and 9 months and told me he wanted to wear underwear - so we bought it and put it on - he had 1 accident the 1st day and then that was it! He peed and pooped all on his own - 6 months later he stopped wearing a diaper at bedtime and never once wet the bed either - I think the best thing to do is back off for now and let him tell you when he is ready - There was no "training" involved with my son and it rocked!!!

  2. \.I'm right there with you. My son ust turned 3 and he's all about doing evrything in the bathroom,except sit on the toilet and go. Open toilet lid. Check. Put potty ring on toilet. Check. Grab toilet paper and flush. Double check. Wait. Didn't we miss something? Such is our potty life. I'm going to be stalking this post for good ideas.

  3. Eek, I don't know about boys (I know I'm in for a real special treat with two:) But with my first, a girl, I really just waited longer than I would have liked until I felt like she was really ready. We literally stayed home (or near) for a few days and she went naked. It worked though! She never needed training pants, a diaper at night, or anything. I think potty training is such a battle, I'm okay with diapers until they're well ready, personally. I read, and followed this, almost exactly...

    Good luck:)

  4. Toilet training is one of the toughest early parenting battles, I'm totally convinced. From where you are at now, I'd just stop for a while. With my first, I tried a bit early with no success and then backed off. When we tried again, after he was three, it was as though he was just ready. Very few accidents and not too hard a battle. With all my other boys I waited until they were about 2 3/4 to start and I use "Toilet Training in Less than a Day." It's intense and I would guess parts of it would be contrary to many of your parenting beliefs. I wonder each time if it is too intense, but it works. If I were you I'd just continue to model the behavior and talk about big boys having dry pants and such, but take a break from wearing underwear and going to the potty. Good luck!

  5. We started too early, too. Rewards and charts didn't work. My guy is very independent and does things when he is good and ready. When he was ready, he just did it. I agree that there is no training involved. It will just stress you out and strain your relationship with your little one.

  6. Thank you all for your advice!! I think I need to back off - too much positive reinforcement can also be too much pressure for him! Thank you- I will be posting some more comments from my friends on FB in a new post coming soon!

  7. All children are different. Sometimes we feel pressured by other parents.."oh, he isn't potty trained yet?". They claim that their child was potty trained at 1. baloney!! You can't force a child before they are ready. When a child is ready then it will be easy. They will know when they are ready. I preferred changing diapers (yuck..I know!) as opposed to the potty traing fight. My daughter was between 2 and 2 1/2. But my son was 3. But because I waited until they were ready it was quick and painless with both of them.
    BTW...people are always going to compare when their child accomplished some milestone as opposed to yours. Ignore them. None of that matters when they grow up. One of my children developed early and was was a "late bloomer. They both have a college degree and great lives.